I am running out of room in my house to grow Nepenthes. I've been needing to get a greenhouse for them for ages but I always talk myself out of it due to the absolutely horrific weather we have here in North East Oklahoma. We literally have everything you don't want, from tornadoes & earthquakes to desert-like heat in the summer and ice storms in the winter that will put inches of ice on everything and then cover it up with 12 - 24" of snow (not every year but it has happened a few times in the past decade). A few winters back we hit -28F at one point....
However, freakish natural disasters aside, the main problem I can't seem to figure out how to address is the zone 7b heat that we are plagued with. The vast majority of my plants are highland Nepenthes that I grow indoors under lights and I really want to move them outdoors so they can enjoy natural sunlight (through shade cloth of course), but cooling seems to be a real dilemma. I can't see temperature-controlled vents doing me much good if the outside temperature is 105F, which it frequently gets to from July to the end of September. As of right now on October 3rd at 3:25pm it's 90F outside.
Also, I don't see swamp coolers being cool enough as I understand they usually can only lower the temperature inside a greenhouse by around 10F, and they may not work too well since we have really high humidity here most of the time and swamp coolers are evaporative coolers.
Misting alone won't be adequate because, again, we are dealing with extreme heat here, and it would also be counter-productive if using a swamp cooler due to raising the humidity.
So here is the only solution that I can come up with that I think might keep the highs during the day time to around 85F:
- First, cover the entire greenhouse in 50% shade cloth
- Second, install an automatic, timer-controlled misting system
- Third, install a large 220v window unit air conditioner that runs during the day when the temperature exceeds, say, 82F
I think it might work at least during the day, though I have no idea how I would get the temps at or below 60f at night without spending $1,000.00 per month on electricity. Sometimes the low overnight temperatures in Oklahoma don't go below 80F, and they usually never go below 70F.
I really am at a loss as to what to do outside of spending a ton of money to cool the greenhouse.
Any ideas? Would be greatly appreciated....